Grandda came in holding Les by the hand and telling him about growing up on this same farm. Wow! What a change in Grandda, just in this short amount of time. It warmed my heart to see the difference and the way he was growing as a believer.
Ma was bringing in Marie, still talking to her, and Marie was walking quietly by Ma's side. It seemed the family was finding it's way back together. These days it would be called a dysfunctional family, I suppose, but I know it was because Ma was a widow trying to deal with all the complexities of keeping us together. We had yet to hear all the news from back in our town. I was anxious to know the answers to so many questions.
Les, and Grandda headed in to wash their hands, and so did Ma and Marie.
As soon as Ma came back with Marie, I asked a question that had been burning in my mind.
"Ma, what about Mr. Hopkins? You haven't mentioned him since you came in. What is going on with him?"
"Please, son, I've barely had time to do think since I've been here. We'll discuss Mr. Hopkins later. You don't need to know everything at once. He is my business, after all. Right now, why don't we just think about eating this good lunch your sister has fixed for us." She said this, smiling at Rosie, encouragingly.
I looked at the potatoes and saw they had been slightly scorched, and the green beans were undercooked, but the cornbread looked okay, until it was cut into later, and I saw it was doughy in the middle. Ma looked at me, daring me to say anything negative. I just nodded my head, dreading the eating of the stuff. I knew how hard it is to do things in the beginning, when you had to do them alone.
When Grandda came in with Les, Les was saying, "Tell me some more about growing up, Grandda."
Rosie was all flushed looking in the face when everyone sat down. I could understand her flustered feelings. Ma looked around and all the rest of us with a dare in her eyes. We believed her warning, and so after Grandda had asked the blessing, we bravely endured the food without criticism. When the meal was over, we each thanked Rosie for making it for us.
Ma got up from the table and told us to clear it, and told me to help with the dishes, while she and Grandda went in to check on Grandma, who had been sleeping.
Well, Ma had certainly taken over with a firm hand, it seemed, and I, for one, was happy she had.
As Rosie and I did the dishes, she washing, and I, drying, I began voicing my questions to her.
"What do you think is happening with Mr. Hopkins, Rosie? She won't talk with me about him yet."
"I don't know, Zeb, but is it really any of our business? I don't like him, that's for sure, but it would be her that is marrying him."
"Yeah, but he'd be living with us. Don't that matter? I don't much care for him, either. I don't really trust him. There is just something about him that is false, I just don't know what, though. It just seems wrong."
We were so busy talking that we didn't notice Ma coming up behind us.
(To be continued)